CONSERVATION ON CASTLE FARM
The Alexander family have been farming in the Darent Valley since 1892. Practical conservation has always been an integral part of day-to-day activities – taking pride in caring for the environment as well as growing crops.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE DO:
- Wide grass margins are maintained around fields to provide habitats for wildlife and increase biodiversity.
- Native flowers are nurtured to provide pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and insects.
- Over 30km of hedges, tree-lines and woodland shaws are managed to enhance the landscape and provide corridors for wildlife across the farm.
- Tree and hedge planting projects are undertaken annually.
- Hedges are cut to an A-shape to provide dense cover for nesting birds.
- Over the winter, bare fields are sown with green ‘cover crops’ to improve the soil by preventing erosion, retaining nutrients and sequestering carbon.
- Cattle manure and lavender compost are spread on the land to increase organic matter and fertility, thereby reducing the use of artificial chemicals and fertilisers.
- Specialist Owl Boxes have been installed across the farm to encourage owl nesting.
- Bee hives are situated in our fields and we partake in regular insect surveys to encourage healthy insect population across the farm.
- The farm devotes over 10% of its cropping area to be managed with wildlife and the environment having priority over food production.
- We are facilitating a river enhancement program; nurturing river biodiversity, supporting healthy fish life and encouraging the presence of water birds.
How can you help?
- Please stick to our permissive footpaths when you walk the valley
- Take your rubbish home
- Support our farm-grown products in the shop; Beef, Pumpkins, Apples, Honey and Lavender
- Plant Wildflowers and Lavender in your garden!
We hope you enjoy appreciating the wildlife and diversity on Castle Farm the next time you visit, walk through the valley or see our pics on social.